We were told that the rematch between Golden State and the Cleveland Cavaliers would be something epic to remember. From what we’ve seen…who can forget soon enough?
We were told over and over that this one would be special.
The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals won by the Warriors. Remember? More like the Warriors against LeBron because Kyrie and Kevin Love were injured and unable to play?
So the big three are back, all healthy, and all promising prior to the series that this would something different…something special…something to remember.
Actually, it was ESPN who did the promising. Convenient, since ESPN is owned by the ABC Broadcast Company and ABC is airing the series. Call it marketing.
Call it “moosh”, because that’s what it’s been so far. Hip-hop, “E40″ and all the Stephen A. Smith you want, Cleveland has not played well, clearly beaten in the opener and blown out by 33 points in game 2. Meanwhile, Golden State continues to shoot uncontested three-pointers and runs the floor without opposition from the Cavaliers’ transition defense. To put it bluntly, Cleveland at times has looked like it doesn’t know what to do. They’ve looked…”uncoached”.
In harsher terms, impatient fans from the lake shore have asked, “Where’s the three-point shooting from Kyrie, Love, and J.R. Smith?” Where’s the confidence shown against Atlanta and Toronto. Without using the “C” word which rhymes with joke, they fume that the Cavaliers haven’t played with confidence against a team as big and bad as they are.
People who are watching on TV aren’t watching the Cavaliers, LeBron, or the series. If they are watching…they’re watching the remarkable shooting displayed by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. After all, the essence of the game is shooting, and if you’re a basketball fan you want to see the kind of skills typically lacking in modern basketball…the game of fast pace, contact, and sub-40% shooting percentages. Curry and Thompson represent none of this, displaying breathtaking skills.
To the rest of us channel surfers, there is the obvious fact that more has been promised than delivered by the league, the network, and face of the National Basketball Association for the past decade. I’ve always questioned the popularity of the NBA outside of its 30 urban markets, and if the Cavaliers do not rebound to play competitively and win tonight this Finals will be forgotten sooner across America than a Kentucky Derby winner.
What we will remember is the new face of the NBA – the slender kid from Davidson College who wears his mouthguard like bubblegum. The kid who entertains because he can actually shoot. Still, the essence of the game!